A bit of back-story is in order first. I bought this car as a "fixer-upper". Although the previous owner neglected it in terms of maintenance, the basics are great (more on all this in "comments"). I'm not sure which part failed when, as I've had it only a few thousand miles, but to give you an idea of what happened after ~125k miles of neglect, here's what's gone wrong:
What's been fixed-
ECU (engine computer)
EGR valve solenoid.
Front O2 sensor.
Brakes (and I mean everything - master cylinder, pads, shoes, rotors, drums, hardware, etc.)
Complete tuneup (plugs, wires, coil pack boots, PCV valve)
Timing belt & water pump.
Cylinder head, intake manifold, & EGR valve cleaned.
Engine, trans gear oil, & power steering fluid flush/fill.
Lubrication of all body joints, latches, and locks.
What's next -
Struts/shocks & springs.
Valve lash adjustment (yes, Tercels do NOT have hydraulic lifters)
Headlight adjusters & mounting brackets.
Cruise control module.
Stereo wiring repair (the front speakers don't work)
Nothing else is wrong with the car.
Most of the car was all original when I bought it, including some things that shouldn't be - like shocks, brakes, and spark plug wires. No routine maintenance other than spark plugs and oil changes had been done by the last owner; they even put in the wrong spark plugs. But, the body & paint are great, the interior is like new, and the engine & trans act like they have 1/3 their actual miles. In other words, it looks & runs like a new car, which is what I meant about the basics - it's been a great "fixer-upper" investment. But anyway, on to actual comments...
The interior space in front is more than adequate. I'm a big guy (over 6 feet & 200lbs) and the driving position is very comfortable; the seats are supportive as well, especially in the lower back area. Outward visibility is excellent. The front seats could use a center armrest, though.
The back seat is a bit tight. I wouldn't be comfortable back there if I was sitting behind myself, but it's not so tight as to be labeled fit only for children and groceries. Four average-sized adults could be comfortable in this car - maybe not for a road trip, but at least for a few hours.
The trunk is surprisingly large, especially considering how tiny this car is. Two full-size suitcases will easily fit, with some room to spare.
The air conditioning works great (which I didn't expect from such a bare-bones car). The heat is great as well. Defroster function is only adequate in extremely humid weather, but otherwise is excellent.
The controls are well laid-out, although the manual mirrors could use remote levers. They are truly manual: reach out and touch your mirror to adjust. The shifter isn't the tightest in the world, but it's more precise than the ones in many newer front wheel drive cars I've driven.
I have some minor complaints about the interior. One is regarding the manual mirrors - the passenger-side mirror doesn't adjust out far enough to eliminate the blind spot on that side. And both side-view mirrors are rather small.
Another is the lack of a tachometer - a darn near unforgivable omission in a vehicle with manual trans. A tach isn't absolutely required for in-town driving, but it'd be useful for avoiding overrevs when merging or pulling away from a toll booth.
Another is the lack of fold-down rear seats; the came in some Tercels, but not this one. A handy feature to have, but not sorely missed.
The last interior complaint is that the rear windows are fixed - it'd be nice if they popped out on hinges as in some other coupes (or better yet, if they rolled down like they used to in 2 door cars years ago).
Acceleration is somewhat impressive for a car with 95hp, but not surprising given the extremely light curb weight (1900lbs for the stripped base model that I have). It's not fast, but it's nowhere near slow. Merging on the highway is easy, as is cruising at 80mph. It only feels underpowered when accelerating from just off idle. The engine isn't overly loud, but the sound isn't exactly gratifying.
Braking, like acceleration, is somewhat better than adequate. It stops as well as any other car I've driven, and better than some. The brake pedal is firm, and I haven't gotten the brakes to fade yet. I'll reserve comments on handling until after I fix the suspension, although I will say that this car feels very tight. It's certainly not a rattlebox.
I've been very happy with the cost of ownership. Everything I've fixed has stayed fixed, which is not something I can say for most of the cars I've owned. No new problems have popped up. It's great on gas - I average 32mpg in all-city driving, with a worst-ever of 30mpg. Average for mixed city/highway has been 37mpg. I haven't used it on a long trip yet, so I have no straight highway mileage figures.
Overall, I'm quite happy with this vehicle. I'll give another update in a year's time.